We spend more time than ever working in the cloud. In fact, 96% of companies are already using cloud services in 2018 and two-thirds of enterprises plan to increase public cloud spending by more than 20%. Amongst the most popular cloud-based services are cloud email applications. Business email cloud services are on the rise and they are expected to grow to an industry of $43B by 2021, a staggering 30% increase from 2016.
However, as people and businesses alike jump on the digitalisation bandwagon and start to access, share and work with sensitive data in different locations and multiple devices, the security and quality of these services will become more important than ever. Amongst the different cloud-based email providers, Exchange Online, is a market leader. In fact, 8 out of 10 public companies with more than $10B in revenue that use cloud email utilise Exchange Online. But what makes this solution the standout choice for companies all around the world? Here is a rundown of the reasons why to choose Exchange Online.
Main Reasons Why to Use Exchange Online
One of the biggest reasons why companies switch to Exchange Online is that it allows their organization to be much more mobile, flexible and responsive. With Exchange Online, employees can easily access emails from any device, from any location, at any time. This allows them to check and respond to work emails 24/7, whether it’s while they are commuting to work, on a business trip, on holiday or at home.
The increased flexibility can help HR when hiring younger talents, can support sales whilst closing deals and overall increase productivity and communication within organisations in order to provide better services for customers and other stakeholders.
Exchange Online comes with an abundance of features aimed at ensuring security on multiple levels. Here’s a rundown of some of the most important features:
- Anti-malware and anti-spam protection: Exchange Online will block all known viruses and stop basically all spam from entering your inbox as well as hindering any spoofing attempts by securing outgoing emails too.
- Email encryption: all incoming and outgoing emails are encrypted, regardless of the operating system used.
- Data loss prevention (DLP): the email solution allows admins to set up DLP policies and rules to detect sensitive information and prevent users from sending that information via email to unauthorized parties.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): admins can activate MFA to add an extra layer of security to logins. For instance, they can force users to perform an extra step, such as confirming a call, app notification or text message, rather than simply having to enter a username and password to gain entry.
- Remote Wipe: the increase of user flexibility and mobility can often pose new security threats to companies. However, Exchange Online allows admins to block and wipe a device remotely in case of theft, device-specific breaches or loss of device in order to protect sensitive corporate and user information.
- Disaster recovery: Exchange Online takes care of automatic backups as multiple differentiated datacenters backup mailbox databases.
- Automated updates: the hosted email solution runs automatic updates, patching and maintenance to ensure the usage of the latest security technology.
An undeniable advantage of Exchange Online is that it’s as reliable as an email cloud solution can be. Microsoft guarantees a 99.9% uptime in their SLAs and they even back it up financially. This means that companies can get a big chunk of their money back if Microsoft doesn’t comply with these commitments.
How does Exchange Online perform in reality? Well, they’re actually quite transparent about it and publish reliability figures on a quarterly basis. Their latest data shows that in the last four quarters, they’ve achieved a minimum uptime of 99.98%. Thanks to a huge network of globally redundant servers, there are almost no external factors that can prevent Exchange Online from running smoothly. For decision makers, sales team and other departments where responsiveness is key, email server reliability is a crucial advantage.
Current prices for Exchange Online start at a monthly rate of €3,40 per user (pre-tax) for the basic package. This is a very budget-friendly price point, especially when taking into account that companies won’t need to acquire any on-premise hardware, purchase extra storage space (it comes with 50GB storage space per user) or install software manually.
Besides cutting down on CAPEX and software spending, firms can also save a significant amount of IT service costs since admins won’t have to worry about updates, maintenance and support. Additionally, opting for a slightly more expensive option, at €10,50, will even equip teams with the entire Office 365 solution package, including applications such as Teams, Sharepoint Online, OneNote and an extra 1TB of storage space per user. In fact, many organisations that start on Exchange Online basic subscriptions quickly decide to run the complete Office 365 suite, because of the additional benefits it provides.